Fall Looks Bright for Sports Teams

Ross Coleman

It is the start of another school year at Glendale, which means new faces, new classes and new parking lot struggles.

It also means new seasons for the fall sports teams. It’s a time for new opportunities: to improve teams that have been down, to continue success of recent years and to cement new legacies.

Women’s golf made waves in its premiere season last year by finishing fourth in conference and third in the conference championship tournament. Not bad for a brand new program. Head coach Kirt Kohlmer returns to lead a mix of experienced returning golfers and talented new recruits.

The returning Lady Vaqs golfers are team MVP Rebecca Cate, Ruth McNevin, and Emily Moniz. The new recruits who hope to have an immediate impact are Brittney Gonzales, Chrislyn Herring, Cristina Pasquariello and Alexa Petroski. Look for the Lady Vaqs to use last year’s success to build this into a stellar program.

Women’s soccer looks to improve from last year’s record of 9-6-7, 6-4-5 in Western State Conference. Despite the winning record, head coach Jorge Mena’s team missed the playoffs.

The Lady Vaq’s top returning players are forwards Catalina Sanchez and Ashley Givens and goalkeeper Monica Rosales. Newcomers include Allyson Burns, Teresina Cuccinello, Natalie Diaz, Celia Flores, Elena Torres and Christina Voskanian.

The men’s soccer team looks to bounce back from a lack of scoring and only two wins a year ago. Head coach Joe Agoston hopes to lean on his returning players to increase the offense and increase the wins.

The Vaq’s bring back the team’s lone all-WSC first team player, goalkeeper Edwin Cabrera. Joining Cabrera are midfielders Emilio Vallejos-Paeza and Bruno Sanchez, defender Oscar Velasquez, and back-up goalkeeper/forward David Avetyan.

Women’s volleyball head coach Yvette Ybarra will be looking to the experienced returning players to turn around a team that went 0-10 in WSC conference play.

The team returns top players outside hitter Aya Nakano and middle blocker Isabelle Carter, both of whom were all-WSC selections in 2007. Also returning are libero Anne Figueroa and Nicole Diller, who will be playing setter.

The men’s cross country team may have been in the shadow of its female counterparts last year, but it is possible that they will be shining on their own. However, they will be doing so with a rather inexperienced crew. Of the nine-member team, seven are freshman.

Head coach Eddie Lopez will be looking to returning runners Steven Carrillo and Alain Perez to lead the team to the top of the WSC and maybe even the top of Southern California.

The women’s cross country team is coming off an undefeated state championship season a year ago. The team faces this year without three of their top runners from last year, Tove Berg, Desiree Ruiz and Vivien Waddeck.
Returning California State Coach of the Year Eddie Lopez hopes that sophomore Justina Sadauskaite and Reyna Samaniego can fill the void left by Berg, Ruiz and Waddeck and lead the Lady Vaqs back to the top this year.

The start of the John Rome era of Vaquero football is here. The former offensive coordinator inherits a talented team from legendary coach and current men’s athletic director John Cicuto.

Last year, the Vaqs failed to reach a bowl game after finishing 6-4, 5-2 in conference. However, Rome hopes to rely on a talented stable of running backs to take the team back to the post season.

The running backs to look out for are Jorge Chaidez, 2006 Vaq MVP Jason McNeill, LaVelle Peterson, Joe Wiggan and Willie Youngblood. This running back group reads like an all-area history book. Chaidez is the Burbank area high school all-time leading rusher, Peterson is a former Rio Hondo League Co-MVP and Wiggan is a former all-CIF selection.

Giving the running back corps holes to run through is a talented offensive line that is headlined by two all-WSC honorable mentioned sophomores Nick Sabatella and Marc Valdez. Also returning to the starting lineup this year is Brian Granillo.

Rome has named freshman Stephen Miller as his starting quarterback but Dylan Martinez is expected to get some snaps behind center as well.

The receivers may be an inexperienced bunch but they have plenty of talent. Sophomore Kenny Suber and freshmen Brian Williams and Michael Harrison will be playing along side Rome’s son, Alex Rome, who is the starting tight end.

The defense lost a load of talent in all-Americans defensive end Grant Valentine and safety Ray McDonough, however Rome has young excited players that are ready to step into the large shoes of the departed stars.

Sophomore Michael Klintworth, is shaping up to be the replacement for Valentine. Along with him freshmen Garrett Rowland, Marcus Mullin, and Jesse Halberstadt are all other options at defensive end.

The top linebackers are Kyle Budrick, Rudy Peterson, and Kalii Robinson.

James Antaplyan is back to help fill the void left by McDonough in the secondary. Freshmen Jacob Franco, Francis McDonald and Patrick Allen will also do their best at the cornerback position. J.P. Curvey, a former cornerback, will be the starting safety to watch out for this year.